BK (before kids), and when I first started cooking, I favored mixed dishes. You know, items that include all the food groups in them. Just throw it all in the slow cooker and dinner’s ready.
That doesn’t mean AK (after kids) I don’t make mixed dishes, it’s just that I do it less often. But now that my kids are older, I’m making them more often. I’m also moving beyond my side strategy of serving mixed dishes with bread and fruit. Instead, I ask them how they want to eat it. This is especially true for chili.
I have two favorite chili dishes: turkey chili and white chicken chili. Little D prefers his wrapped up in a tortilla with added cheese, and Big A likes to use tortilla chips to eat chili (replace “chip” with “spoon”).
Now, do I wish they would just spoon up the chili? Yes! But you know, they are eating the chili — getting used to its flavors and textures — and that’s what counts. It’s the next step to eventually eating the chili straight from the bowl with a real utensil. And I’m all for that.
Many moons ago I posted a recipe for white chicken chili. Now I use this recipe from Budget Bytes: Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili. I love Beth’s recipes.
Do your kids eat mixed dishes? How do you handle it?
- yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, minced (optional -- I used but removed the seeds)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound chicken
- 16 oz jar salsa verde
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 -ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional -- I did not use)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- salt to taste
- shredded cheese of choice -- I used Monterey Jack
- sliced avocado, cilantro, and other toppings
- Prepare the onion, jalapeno, and garlic and add to crockpot with chicken.
- Drain and rinse the beans and add to crockpot along with the spices. Gently stir to combine.
- Pour the salsa and broth over the chicken and beans and cook on high for 3-4 hours depending on your crockpot.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from crockpot and shred with two forks. Return to crockpot, stir, and add salt to taste and serve with cheese and any toppings you prefer.
Want more easy meals and strategies for serving family meals? See Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution: How to Create a Rotation of Dinner Meals Your Family Will Love.